The White Sox affiliates finished off the month of April and not one of them will enter May with a winning record. However, they did manage to cap off the disappointing month by winning four of the five contests Saturday.
The Knights defeated Toledo in a rain shortened affair as Erik Johnson bested Mud Hens starter Daniel Norris for the second consecutive start. Johnson won despite not having his best command, as evident by him issuing an uncharacterestic four walks in five innings. But Johnson did limit the damage to just three runs. The Charlotte offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, highlighted by an Andy Parrino double. Tim Anderson added two hits and an RBI and Daniel Fields went 1-2 with a walk. Reliever Michael Ynoa struck out two batters but allowed a run in relief of Johnson.
Charlotte will send Miguel Gonzalez to the hill in the finale against Toledo in a Sunday matinee.
Carson Fulmer pitched six innings to earn the win and catcher Jeremy Dowdy homered and drove in four runs as the Barons romped in game one of the Saturday double-header. Fulmer gave up a 2nd inning two-run home run but otherwise mostly cruised, only allowing three runs on five hits and one walk. Nick Delmonico went 2-3 with a double and Jake Peter also went 2-3 with a double to lead the Barons.
The Barons rallied to tie the game at two in the 6th inning only to see Pensacola add three more in the 7th inning to take the second game of the double-header. Starter Jordan Guerrero struggled with his command (four walks) but racked up six strikeouts and and only allowed one earned run on four hits over five innings. Kyle Hansen came on in relief and fired a scoreless inning but James Dykstra was roughed up for three runs in his frame to take the loss.
The offense was mostly held in check by Pensacola starter Rookie Davis (great baseball name), who only allowed two hits over his five innings of work. However, Trey Michalczewski hit a RBI double in the 6th inning and scuffling Adam Engel walked and stole his 9th base of the season.
The Barons and Blue Wahoos face off again on Sunday but Birmingham has yet to announce a starter.
The Dash won a wild see-saw game against Frederick highlighted by a furious 8th inning rally that resulted in seven runs. Starter Thad Lowry issues six free passes over five innings but managed to dance around them to only allow two runs. However, unsuccessful relief appearances from Danny Dopico and Kelvis Valerio saw the Dash entering the 8th inning down by a score of 7-2. After loading the bases, Mason Robbins drove in two with a double and later Marcus Davis (who had started the 8th inning with a single) also hit a two-run double to give the Dash the lead for good. Nick Basto went 3-5 to continue his torrid pace and completed April reaching base in every game and will enter May batting .433/.480/667.
The Dash will send Jordan Stephens to finish the series against Frederick looking for the sweep.
The Intimidators cruised to the win against Columbia behind a strong start from Zach Thompson and multi-hit games from Tyler Sullivan and Cleuluis Rondon. Thompson pitched six innings of two-hit ball and only allowed one run to score. Reliever Yelmison Peralta pitched a scoreless inning to lower his season ERA to a sparkling 0.93 and closer Taylore Cherry struck out five batter over two innings. Cherry has dominanted this level by striking out 22 batter to just 2 walks during his 15 innings in April.
Shortstop Rondon has largely disappointed with his bat but Saturday was a different story as went 2-4 and drove in four runs with a double and a triple. Outfielder Landon Lassiter went 0-3 but did walk twice to join Nick Basto as the other White Sox prospect to reach base in every game he played in April. Lassiter has been a pleasant surprise to the 2016 by slashing .343/.439/.414 through the first month.
Tanner Banks gets the start Sunday for the Intimidators as he looks to win his 5th game of the year.
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